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Students March To Make Homestead School A 'Sanctuary Campus'

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- One of the campaign promises made by President-elect Donald Trump is that he would crack down on so-called "sanctuary cities," or cities that don't help federal authorities seize undocumented aliens.

During his interview on CBS "60 Minutes," Trump said he planned to immediately deport two to three million undocumented immigrants.

That's worrisome to the "dreamers" – students who President Barack Obama protected from deportation.

"The schools are aware generally of what the immigration status is.  Many of these students are part of the DREAM Act that's been put in place where the current administration has assured these students that they're not going deport undocumented minors," said attorney David Weinstein.

And this initiative has not sat well with many cities and police agencies who have refused to arrest immigrants based solely on their status.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who told CBS4 he would vote for Hillary Clinton, said Wednesday he will not help a Trump administration round up undocumented immigrants.

"Our police officers aren't immigration officers. We don't go looking for immigration violators," Gimenez said. "We don't enforce that, we don't go looking for that."

On Wednesday, the immigrant activist group Cosecha took it a step further. They organized a walk out at a number of schools in the Homestead area, including Homestead Senior High School, South Dade Senior High School and Miami Dade College.

"Our fear is not only for Dreamers, but for all our community, our undocumented community, black community. Our LGBT community is in fear, and we are vulnerable under a Trump presidency," said Diego Ramirez.

Some students, along with community leaders, marched on Homestead City Hall to demand that it be a sanctuary city and their respective schools be sanctuary campuses.

"My kind of people, immigrants, try to be safe in the community, knowing to some extent that they are somewhat safe, that their own city is not going to go against them," said Ricardo Ceron.

The "sanctuary campus" movement calls for university and high schools to develop a protocol for their campuses that will allow them to serve as sanctuaries against deportation, discrimination, violence and racism.

"I was a high school student not too long ago and I remember the struggles of being undocumented, not able to have a license, the uncertainty of whether you're going to college or not. So I want to make sure the students get empowered so that they can go to college like I have," said Erick Zuniga.

Rebecca del Valle, who was born in Mexico, is a student at Homestead Senior High. She and her parents are legal but she is in fear of her other family members being deported.

"I don't think it's right because some people don't want to be there because of the things that people do to them," said del Valle. "Some people want to come over here because they want to feel safe. But I don't think it's right for (Trump) to want to send people back. People who want to be here, people who want their rights."

At South Dade Senior High, several dozen students took part in the walk out.

Some of those taking part in the walk outs were 'dreamers' - students granted protection from deportation by President Barack Obama but a protection which could be removed by Trump.

Cosecha is planning similar walk outs and rallies at high schools and universities across the country including Harvard, Yale, and Columbia.

According to the Migration Policy Institute a total of 156,000 undocumented immigrants live in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, with the majority residing in Miami-Dade.

Miami-Dade is on the list of "sanctuary cities" because the county has dismissed federal requests to detain individuals wanted for non-criminal immigration violations.

The county, based on a policy passed by the commission in 2013, does not allow undocumented immigrants to be held at the jail at the request of federal authorities, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald. The person will only be held if Immigration and Customs Enforcement agrees to cover the full cost or if the request is based on the person committing a crime.

During his camp, Trump promised to punish sanctuary cities. On his transition website, "block funding for sanctuary cities" is listed as a top policy goal of his immigration plan.

CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.

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